The labour market outcomes of transgender individuals

Matthew Shannon*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This paper uses the 2015 United States Transgender Survey of 27,715 transgender respondents to study the relationship between minority gender identity status and income, employment, and poverty rates. All transgender groups have significantly lower incomes and are more likely to be in poverty, unemployed or working part-time, when compared with men in the American Community Survey. Within the transgender sample, those who were assigned female at birth have significantly lower incomes and are more likely to work part-time than those assigned male at birth. These income results are sensitive to the degree to which respondents have socially transitioned. The younger transgender people transition and the greater their ability to ‘pass’, the more their income profiles reflect that of their gender identity rather than the sex they were assigned at birth. Together, these findings provide descriptive evidence in support of a traditional cisgender income gap, with ‘maleness’ being associated with an income premium in the workplace over ‘femaleness’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102006
Number of pages26
JournalLabour Economics
Early online date24 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

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